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St. Bonaventure University

St. Bonaventure’s Morales inducted into New York Senate Veterans Hall of Fame

May 30, 2024

Pictured here at the ceremony in Albany are (from left): Christian Morales, Sen. Borrello, Frank Morales, Julian Morales, Isabella Morales and Crystal Morales, Frank’s wife.Francisco “Frank” Morales, a decorated veteran of the U.S. Army and director of the Military Aligned Students Program at St. Bonaventure University, was inducted Tuesday into the New York state Senate’s Veterans Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Albany.

Morales was nominated by Sen. George Borrello in recognition of his outstanding service and dedication to the nation and fellow veterans. The annual recognition, established in 2005, is bestowed upon a veteran from each Senate district in the state who has not only served valiantly in the military but has also made outstanding contributions on behalf of their community as a civilian.

“Frank Morales enlisted in the U.S. Army as an infantryman and served 20 years with tremendous distinction, ultimately attaining the rank of master sergeant. Among his many awards is the Silver Star Medal, bestowed on him for his heroic actions on Aug. 26, 2006, when Morales’s unit was ambushed by over 60 Taliban soldiers. Morales was able to lead his men through the battle and save four wounded soldiers,” Borrello said.

“The motto of the U.S. Army is ‘This We’ll Defend.’ It’s a vow that Frank Morales embraced as an active member of the military and as a civilian in his role as director of St. Bonaventure’s Office of Veterans Services, where he mentors his fellow veterans and helps them prepare for a successful transition back into civilian life. It was my honor to be able to recognize him and have his story memorialized in the state’s history,” Borrello added.

Morales’s Army tenure also included deployments in the Balkans, Africa, and twice to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Morales’s final U.S. Army assignment was to St. Bonaventure as a senior Military Science instructor in the university’s Army ROTC program.

Morales also received the Bronze Star for meritorious service in combat. After 20 years of service, he received numerous awards for achievement and earned the Combat and Expert Infantry badges, the Parachutist Badge, the Pathfinder Badge, and the Drill Sergeant Badge.

After concluding his Army tenure, Morales earned a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling and worked in counseling for several years before becoming director of the St. Bonaventure Office of Veterans Services.

“Frank is an incredible leader, and we are fortunate to have him leading our Military Aligned Program that supports veterans and their families. He is an advocate for all veterans and a valuable resource throughout the Southern Tier,” said Bernie Valento, vice president for Enrollment at St. Bonaventure.

A member of the university’s ROTC Hall of Fame, Morales lives in Portville, New York, with his wife, Crystal, and their children Christian, Julian and Isabella.

Sen. Borrello will honor Morales at a special ceremony at St. Bonaventure at a date to be announced. 


About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University is a community committed to transforming the lives of our students inside and outside the classroom, inspiring in them a lifelong commitment to service and citizenship. Out of 167 regional universities in the North, St. Bonaventure was ranked #6 for value and #14 for innovation by U.S. News and World Report (2024).